Comparing Robert’s Rules of Order Original Versus Current Editions

Today (February 19) is the 147th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of Robert’s Rules of Order by S. C. Griggs and Company in Chicago. This photograph compares the original edition with the most recent Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition).

A few differences between the original and current:

  • The original version has 176 pages versus the current edition’s 714 pages. (Robert’s stated intent was to create a “very brief pocket manual, so cheap that every member of a church or society could own a copy, and so arranged as to enable one quickly to find when any particular motion could be made,” but he had other writings incorporated into later editions.)
  • One author (Henry Martyn Robert, who served in the Union Army and eventually rose to General in the Army Corps of Engineers) versus five authors (Henry M. Robert, III, Daniel H. Honemann, Thomas J. Balch, Daniel E. Seabold, and Shmuel Gerber)
  • Hardcover format versus hardcover plus paperback and Kindle editions
  • 75 cent cost versus $26.49 hardcover, $15.19 paperback or $24.99 Kindle (current prices at Amazon)
  • 4” x 6” x .3” measurement versus 5” x 7” x 1.75”
  • The telephone was also invented in 1876, but did not become common until the 1930’s. So the original edition was only about in-person meetings. In contrast, the current mentions of technology unimagined by Robert (telephones, e-mail, fax, audioconference, teleconference, videoconference, and electronic voting) and includes a 15-page Appendix of “Sample Rules for Electronic Meetings.”
Parliamentary Law